Swiss eye tax deals with Britain, Germany: ministry

24th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland and Germany will take a step to resolve a spat on taxation on Thursday, the Swiss finance ministry said, after long running tensions over tax evasion and Swiss banking secrecy.

"On Thursday, 28 October 2010, Federal Councillor (Hans-Rudolf) Merz will sign a ... declaration in Bern with the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble," the ministry said in a statement Sunday, indicating that they would start broader negotiations on tax issues.

"At the same time, the two finance ministers will sign the double taxation agreement concluded between Switzerland and Germany," it added.

Germany has been one of the fiercest European critics of the impact of Switzerland's banking secrecy in recent years, complaining that it encouraged German taxpayers to hide money in Swiss bank accounts.

German media have estimated that a broad deal between the two countries on taxation, which has partly been under negotiation for several months, could be worth up to 30 billion euros for German state finances.

Merz is also due to take a similar step with British Chancellor George Osborne in London on Monday, the ministry said.

© 2010 AFP

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